If you’ve been anywhere near the KMXT studios lately, you no doubt have seen the new paint job on the station’s satellite dish.
It’s pretty hard to miss, actually, given that it’s anything but your basic white. Instead it has more of a Kodiak feel, and sports a huge orange octopus on a bright blue background.
Even Governor Bill Walker commented on the dish’s bold orange and blue contrast, and the “real Kodiak” look of the giant art piece. He had come to the KMXT studio for an interview after a recent bill signing ceremony.
Retired school teacher and local artist, Bonnie Levi created the beauty of the sea. She said she mulled over the design possibilities for more than a year. Then inspiration struck.
“Just kind of brainstorming how much fun it would be painting that satellite dish in front of KMXT. I love painting and I like doing things large, so I agreed to do it. I came up with the idea of the orange on top blue is a strong contrast. I just got finished reading “Soul of the Octopus,” book that got me inspired about octopus, and so that’s how I came up with the design.”
Many of the ocean themed art pieces in town are Dillard’s creations, often with the help of local art students. They reflect her love for the natural world and a passion for recycling.
“I’ve always felt strongly that art should be a part of the community. So when I was still teaching at the high school we would do some projects around town. We would always paint the windows for Christmas for businesses. We did the big mural by the convention center right before I retired. We’ve done two of the two big marine debris sculptures that were downtown. First the octopus Sophilia and the big fish that’s down there now. And last year I did a big bear and salmon at the Middle School out of marine debris.”
Dillard says publicly displayed art plays a vital role in the Kodiak community.
“I’m passionate about the arts being a part of the community. And I think we need to beautify Kodiak. We want people to come to Kodiak yet it is so dingy, and grungy and dirty in parts. And there are so many blank walls ready for art. I’d love to see the community support that.”
Kodiak artist, and KMXT’s number one octopus painter, Bonnie Dillard.